Hat Yai hotel bombing probe makes headway: Police


SONGKHLA, April 26 – Police are continuing their search for a key suspect in the car bombing of the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai’s commercial district who still remains at large, despite investigation of the incident having made much progress, the provincial police chief said on Thursday.

Pol Maj-Gen Suwit Chernsiri, Songkhla provincial police chief, said an arrest warrant in the effect for Seri Waemamu regarding the hotel bombing and that he is reportedly hiding in Pattani province.

As for the remaining suspects, Gen Suwat said the National Police Operations Center has been asked to help locate them, though arrest warrants have not yet been issued as the suspects were the same assailants who attacked a paramilitary ranger operations base in Songkhla’s Thepa district last August.

Gen Suwit said investigation has progressed as 200 eyewitnesses have given testimony and police are now speeding up collecting evidence.

Fifteen people were killed and more than 500 were injured in a string of mid-day car bombings in Yala and Songkhla on March 31.

Saturday is the eighth anniversary of April 28, 2004 Krue Sae incident in which 32 people were killed in clashes between authorities and suspected insurgents at a Narathiwat mosque. Gen Suwit said the authorities have been instructed to tighten security measures to prevent any recurrence of violence.

He said security officials have been ordered on high alert in the Hat Yai commercial district, security operations bases and all checkpoints in four Songkhla districts bordering Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces.